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News > Passing of friends > Peter Bowles (1956F) passed away peacefully surrounded by his adoring family

Peter Bowles (1956F) passed away peacefully surrounded by his adoring family

He saw the best in people and accepted them for who they were. His compassionate, generous character touched countless lives and will live on through all who knew and loved him.
Top: Brian Arton & Peter Bowles with the Rolls that they assembled.
Top: Brian Arton & Peter Bowles with the Rolls that they assembled.

Peter Bowles passed away in Virginia on 26 August 2022.  He had been a farmer in Salisbury (Zimbabwe) before moving to the USA.  His wife, Felicity described him as an agricultural entrepreneur but a farmer at heart.

We have just received a lovely email with an obituary from Michael Bowles, son of Peter, that we would like to add to the post we did for him on 31 August. It reads as follows:


Peter Hugh Alan Bowles passed away peacefully on Friday, August 26, 2022 surrounded by his adoring family. He was born October 28, 1939, in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to John Ferdinand Bowles and Kathleen Beryl Truscott.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Felicity Wendy Ann Simpson Bowles; his son, daughters, and their spouses, Michael John Neville Bowles (Jane), Catherine Bowles Wharton, Nicola Bowles Carleton (Will) and Sarah Bowles Pollinger; and his eleven beloved grandchildren, who he referred to as his cricket team, Thomas Talfourd Wharton Jr., Peter Wyant Wharton, Emma Blaine Wharton, Grace Felicity Taylor Bowles, Maximilian Truscott Carleton, Hayden Neville Carleton, Jack Hollister Pollinger, Christopher Gibbs Carleton, Henry Alexander Pollinger, Sophia Ann Bowles, and William Peter Bowles. He is also survived by his younger brother, Anthony Bowles; his sisters and brothers-in-law, Rozanne and Edward and Pam and Ian; as well as beloved nephews, nieces, and cousins.

Peter attended Ruzawi, Bishops, and the University of Cape Town. His passion for Africa - the land, the air, and the people - was woven into his being. Peter met the love of his life in Alpbach, Austria on a trip to Europe following university and returned to Rhodesia, where they married and settled on a farm at the base of Chiwe. Farming tobacco, cotton, maize, coffee, and cattle came with great reward and humbling challenges, yet he and Felicity cultivated the earth, a family, and deep, meaningful relationships with friends that have sustained them through the trials and tribulations of life. They made the courageous decision to leave their beloved homeland following a civil war. With four young children they immigrated to the States and made a new home in Virginia.

Though Peter spent half of his life in the States, his yearning for Africa never waned. He made a self-proclaimed "swan song" trip a few years ago, reveling in days of old with dear friends in treasured places. Peter's enthusiasm for life was unmeasured and surpassed only by the joy he had sharing experiences and delighting in stories of his adventures in Africa. He was known to hold court with his cricket team, recounting colorful stories of days in the African bush.

Peter always saw the best in people and accepted them for who they were, regardless of their station in life. His compassionate, generous character touched countless lives and will live on through all who knew and loved him.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 30, 2022 at 11 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Thank you to Michael for sending this to us.


Original obituary posted on 31 August 2022 by ODU:

We recently heard from Kenn Gibbs (1957F) quite an active and supportive OD in the UK that Peter had passed away.  Peter Bowles (1956F) was at Bishops from 1952 - 1957.  He matriculated in 1956 and went on to do a post matric year.

Peter died on 26 August 2022.  The news was passed onto Ken by Peter's wife, Felicity.  She told Ken that she and Peter had:

"lived through the Bush War in Zimbabwe and were shot up at one stage.  We survived and whatever life threw at us thereafter was just kids’ play. 

Ken describes Felictiy as 'one tough lady!'

Peter was a member of Founders and also a member of the Democritus Society in that same year.  He played golf, rugby, squash and also did swimming at school.

Peter is in the photograph above standing next to the Rolls in the feature photograph with his friend Brian Arton (1956), who sadly passed away in 2011.  Peter writes the following about the car they rebuilt together:

"Brian bought it way back with the intention of rebuilding it.  He and I spent many weekends chasing around the Cape looking for parts.  Believe it or not it was amazing what we managed to find.  When Brian bought the car it literally had been stripped right down to the chassis. The car was running and we had great fun roaring around in it, Brian on a seat and me on a fruit box. 

[Taken from an article 'Brian Arton - Engineer extraordinaire' . To read the full article written by Dr Paul Murray on the ODU Website dated 15 Jul 2019, click on THIS LINK.]  

Our condolences go out to his family who will certainly miss him.

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